Song Showcase



The CANDO Jukebox will showcase songwriter’s songs and contact information of those songs for those wanting to record them. The Song is the most powerful communication vehicle known and these songs will be fun, inspirational and educational. On this site find the editor’s spotlight pick of the week, as well as    K through 12 CANDO Curriculum Connection specialties for educational uses.

Supporting Documents

Why Is It The Music

Enclosed are excerpts from research data that supports the powerful effects of music on humans and cultures since the beginning of time – music’s effect on our brains, our feelings and emotions, our learning capabilities, and our motivation and ability to achieve.

Music has been introduced as an instructional tool in learning systems and schools throughout the world and has gained momentum over the past ten years. (Education Alliance Conference 2003)

Highlights of support documentation in this information Binder Re: Music:

  • Music helps students retain information.

(California State University, Sacramento, CA)

  • Music aids students in academic achievement:

Music has a positive effect on cognitive academic variables (specific academic subjects, i.e., Reading, Language Arts). With increased music periods, students have made an average gain of one and one half times the normal rate in math.  (California Arts Council) 

  • Music can modulate chemicals (in the brain) which influence behaviors (i.e., serotonin, noradrenaline and cortisol). (Eric Jensen/How Music Promotes Learning)
  • Music boosts perceptual and spatial skills.

             (Regents of the University of California)

  • Music can create and activate “prior knowledge” (or “hooks” in the mind, upon which students can attach new materials, make it easier to digest new information, and aid in recall of information on a given subject.

          (Multiple References, see pg. 15)

  • Music education allows disabled students to achieve significantly(California State University)
  • A growing body of scientific evidence suggests there is a causal link between music and intelligence.

            (MIND Institute)

  • Re: the Neurobiology of music, there is direct evidence that music stimulates specific regions of the brain responsible for memory, motor control, timing and language.

(Society for Neuroscience, Los Angeles, CA) 

  • Re: the Neurobiology of music, researchers have located specific areas of mental activity linked to emotional responses to music(Society for Neuroscience, Los Angeles, CA) 
  • Music is an important value “in itself”, providing joy, feeling for aesthetic values and a unique means to explore and to express emotions. (Eckart Altenmuller/Full Prof., Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine University for Music and Drama, Hanover, Germany)
  • Lessons using singing and music engage all areas of the brain and are remembered easily.  (“No Child Left Behind” Suggested Programs – Sing, Spell, Read and Write)
  • Music can actually serve as the method to teach selected curriculum units; music is viewed as a multisensory approach to enhance learning. (See pg. 21)
  • Establishing a sense of rhythm can be used to increase a student’s awareness of rhyming patterns and alliteration in other areas of reading and writing. (Chong & Gan 1997)          Pg. 2 of 4
  • Through music, memory skills can be improved, and aural discrimination increased.  (Chong & Gan 1997)
  • Rhythm, melody and harmony stimulate several areas of the brain, suggesting that music could be used to help repair damaged speech to damaged emotions (Jane E. Allen AP Science Writer)
  • Music creates an environment that is conducive to learning(Davies, 2000) pg.22
  • The effects of music on the emotions are commonly known. The effects of music on the brain and thinking are demonstrable.  Research shows (EEG) that music can change brain waves and make the brain more receptive to learning.  (Davies 2000) pg.22
  • “Music is a fantastic tool to promote character  education traits.”                 (Character Ed/Music Connection) pg.33-35
  • “A creative approach to learning improves performance in the classroom and builds self-esteem in our children.” (National Governors Association/NGA Re: Arts in Education)pg. 36-37
  • Music, introduced to students to emphasize listening, speaking, reading and writing skills (in the teaching of reading) resulted in case students surpassing program objectives of achievement. (California Achievement Test scores)  
  • Solutions to social problems are affected by Music(Journal of Learning Disabilities)
  • Music increases activity of the Immune System and can relieve stress. (Health & Therapies/Perceptual Motor Skills)

From the American Psychological Association Re: Media (pgs. 26-28):

Quote: “When it comes to television, much research has focused on the negative impact it has had on children’s development.  There is a causal connection between negative media and negative behaviors.”  APA’s Task Force on Advertising and Children and director of the Center on Children, Families and the Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, further states:

“Of course, television’s effects can also be positive. Plenty of psychologists have been trying to harness television’s power to help educate children.  Used as educational tools, programs such as “Sesame Street”, “Captain Kangaroo” and “Dora the Explorer” have been shown to boost critical thinking skills in children.”

© The CANDO! Project

Why is it the music

The Song    … as an educational tool

More than 80% of all information processed by the brain comes in through our ears!  The brain commonly stores information with mental strategies, such as rhymes.  This is an invaluable way for the brain to remember and recall information.  When rhymes are added to music, a powerful teaching tool is born: A Song.

Advertisers utilize songs and musical techniques with clever jingles to help us remember their products.  Songs have historically been used as effective vehicles to help students remember information – beginning with the ABC Song!  Educators know that songs can play a vital role in the formation of character traits.  Research over the past 30 years has proven a causal connection between negative song lyrics and negative behaviors. Conversely, songs that communicate character-building thoughts and ideas have a positive impact on the minds and behaviors of students.

Well constructed songs written in popular genres and utilized in the classroom can maximize the imprinting of information to help students learn, remember, and make more positive life choices.  Songs containing rich, lyrical, value-driven content, high quality music production and messages that address issues that directly affect youth are exceptionally strong educational tools.

© 2006

 “ISSUE” SONGS                                           

Today’s complex world and its issues such as drugs, alcohol, crime, violence, divorce, A.I.D.S., and issues relating to the environment, deeply affect our children.

We, at CAN DO! Records, take a responsible position in the multimedia music industry by addressing some of these important issues that so shape the lives of today’s youth.  To that end, we have created a special catalog of “Issue” songs written to develop positive character traits by imparting positive information to children through music.

For example, the song entitled “WANNA SMOKE? WHAT A JOKE!” tells about the dangers of smoking.  “DRUGS? UGH!” addresses the issue of drugs to the very young child, and gives a warning not to try drugs.   The beautiful song entitled “SING LOVE” is written from the perspective of a child living with A.I.D.S.   All of our CAN DO! catalog songs are written with the utmost sensitivity to children.   The youth of today will enjoy quality music and simultaneously receive valuable information to help guide them into making responsible decisions and choices that will affect them throughout their lives.

A strong “issue” song included in our first CD release is entitled

“A STRANGER CAN BE DANGER”.  This song addresses personal safety and empowers children with vital information to help them stay as safe as possible should they ever be faced with a “stranger-danger” situation.

Our goal at CAN DO! RECORDS, is to produce the finest quality music and to incorporate positive themes that encourage the achievement of one’s highest potential.

©2007  CAN DO! Records

Music Communication  and

How music affects your child’s brain
by Don Campbell

Long before the lyrics to “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” were written, children across France sang the words you see above to the same tune. Seventeen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart must also have been familiar with the song, since he used its melody as a starting point for his playful, ever expanding Variations on Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman (K. 265).

Music speaks in a language that children instinctively understand. It draws children (as well as adults) into its orbit, inviting them to match its pitches, incorporate its lyrics, move to its beat, and explore its emotional and harmonic dimensions in all their beauty and depth. Meanwhile, its physical vibrations, organized patterns, engaging rhythms, and subtle variations interact with the mind and body in manifold ways, naturally altering the brain in a manner that one-dimensioned rote learning cannot. Children are happy when they are bouncing, dancing, clapping, and singing with someone they trust and love. Even as music delights and entertains them, it helps mold their mental, emotional, social, and physical development — and gives them the enthusiasm and the skills they need to begin to teach themselves. 

Article from

Music and movement – Music and moving the body informally help provide children with a physical outlet. Soothing music can ease fears and anxiety, whereas dance music can help children develop motor skills, be silly and have fun. Singing helps children integrate new words into their vocabulary and experiment with speech patterns.

The Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Center Franchises

Take advantage of young children’s love for music and movement. The activities will help them work off excess energy, develop a love of music, and become more creative!   

                     National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Morse, N. 

Baby CAN DO! ©Copyright 2005

Kids Songs

Kids Songs?  Why Can Alzheimers Victims Remember Kids Songs?

The songs you choose for your kids to hear will have much more impact on their lives than you realize.

She could sing every kids song on the recording she had listened to 60 years ago.

When doctors explain differences between short and long term memory, what becomes clear is that our abilities as children were special. Our brains were wired differently, and our perception was instinctive. We were powerful learning machines.

She not only remembered the lyrics to every kids song, but the melody was precisely imprinted as well, and she knew it all by heart – all the minor details, every dynamic and stylistic change. But she could not remember what she had for lunch.

There’s something truly amazing about long term memory – being able to recall distinct events from one’s youth with clarity. As we age, we lose many of these old recollections, but some remain with a vividness that is astonishing. And for many individuals, this long term memory is imprinted in ways that make it more durable than the short term memory of daily events in the present.

And after each kids song ended, her memory was so good that she could announce the next one, singing each in the order it appeared on the recording through all 16 songs. Yet she was unable to recognize her own daughter.

This poor woman’s story has a powerful message that those of us who write for children must acknowledge. It is clear that kids’ minds are special. That kids are empowered in ways that adults are not. Young children far surpass their parents in the ability to learn new languages, melodies, and other audio stimuli.

If we recognize these unique abilities of young minds, as creators of music and songs for kids, we take on some special responsibilities. We must make an effort to never underestimate the intelligence of the child. It is our duty, when creating kids songs to implant smart ideas, and to encourage discovery outside the box. Those littlle ears are taking it in and learning it cold. Perhaps 60 years or more later, they will still remember what we piped in when they were young.

So yes, it’s kids songs. And these kids songs are more important than you realize. Rattling around in our brains are all those unique memories associated with melodies, implanted at a time when we were better able to handle cognitive stimuli. And when over time, we forget everything else, we’ll probably still be singing some kids songs. We want them to be worth remembering.


Jeane Akin, California State University

Classroom teachers observe that when music is added to a lesson, students retain more of the lessons than when no music was used.  There is a growing body of work that affirms these observations that support the value of music in the curriculum.

Music education provides opportunity to learn academic skills. CEMREL, Inc., an educational research firm, reports that in 67 specific studies in California, student achievement in reading, writing and math improved when the arts were included in curriculum.

(Milley, Buchen, Okerlund & Mortarotti, 1983). 

Sponsored by The American Psychological Association, a meta-analysis research project (20 studies) concluded a positive effect on cognitive academic variables among elementary school children through relaxation with music.  (Moon, Render & Pendley, 1985)

Music education allows disabled students to achieve significantly.

A three-year Arts in Education project in Washington State revealed a consistent gain of achievement scores when basic academic skills were learned through music.  Music was found to be highly useful in learning perceptual skills and brought a greater interested in language development. Additionally, Music education, performance, and music therapy used to treat disabled students help them develop self confidence (which) leads to other achievements.         (Appel & Goldberg. 1979; Reingold, 1987)

Singing a lesson helps young students to learn. In a study of Dolch Sight Words, the teachers sang the words to Group A students, but not to Group B. The lessons were exactly alike (with the exception of the singing). Group A learned more words than Group B.     (Blackburn 1986)

Music in Reading Instruction: Reading curriculum which includes music (Title 1 reading programs, New York) resulted in dramatic rises in students reading achievement test scores.     (New York City Board of Education, 1990)

Low achieving readers: In a study (of more than 13,000 students and 43 schools) the ESEA Title 1 Evaluation Report for the Wichita Program for Educationally Deprived Children found gains were made in the corrective reading program when music was used in the reading curriculum.

      (New York City Board of Education, 1990)

CDCC Kindergarten Teachers Guide – A Study of Evidence

Interactive Strategies for Using Music in the Academic Curriculum

Michelle Lazar, MT-BC

Music is often an integral part of the preschool and kindergarten child’s school experience.  But what happens in first grade and beyond?  The increased focus on academic curriculum standards often makes it more challenging to integrate music into classroom lessons.  Luckily, with a little creative planning, music can actually serve as the method to teach selected curriculum units.  In this context, music is viewed as a multi-sensory approach to enhance learning and retention of academic skills.

How Teachers Can Ensure that Music Activities are not Detracting from “Academic” Time

1)  As with games, worksheets, videos, and manipulatives, music activities can be considered

just one of many types of instructional approaches.

2)  The music activities used will directly carry the curriculum content that the student is to learn.  For example, if the student is to add single digit numbers, the lyrics to the educational song or chant will deal directly with that target skill.

3)  Research supports the use of music as a mnemonic device for the learning  and recall of new information.  Music also plays a role in focusing attention and providing a motivating environment for learning.  In addition, educational research confirms that we learn and retain information better when we find it interesting and meaningful.

(See the References, below.)

Practical Ways to Integrate Musical Approaches into the Curriculum

Reading & Spelling

— Students clap or tap out syllables on a drum when building phonological awareness or practicing new vocabulary.  Example: “Wa-ter-me-lon.”

— Students are given rhymes to recite which correspond to important spelling generalizations, such as “I before E except after C.”

—   Lyrics to a song are given as a reading assignment.

When they are able to read it correctly and fluently, the students get to sing the song out loud.

Examples: On Top of Spaghetti, Yankee Doodle, and other picture storybooks.

—  A song is presented via recording or sung with lyrics. Students

then utilize comprehension skills to discuss what the song is about and draw inferences as to what may happen in the next verse. Unfamiliar vocabulary can be discussed.  Example: Puff the Magic Dragon.


Claussen, D., & Thaut, M. (1997). Music as a mnemonic device for children with learning disabilities.  Canadian Journal of Music Therapy, 5, 55-66.

Colwell, CM. (1994). Therapeutic applications of music in the whole language kindergarten.

Journal of Music Therapy, 31(4), 238-247.

Gfeller, K. (1983).  Musical mnemonics as an aid to retention with normal and learning

disabled students.  Journal of Music Therapy, 20(4), 179-189.

Lamb, S., & Gregory, A. (1993). The relationship between music and reading in beginning

readers.  Educational Psychology, 13, 19-26.

Kilgour, A.R., Jakobson, L.S., & Cuddy, L.L. (2000). Music training and rate of presentation

as mediators of text and song recall.  Memory & Cognition, 28(5), 700-710.

Morton, L.L. (1990).  The potential for therapeutic applications of music on problems related

to memory and attention.  Journal of Music Therapy, 27(4), 195-208.

Register, D. (2001). The effects of an early intervention music curriculum on prereading/

writing.  Journal of Music Therapy, 38(3), 239-248.

Standley, J., & Hughes, J. (1997).  Evaluation of an early intervention music curriculum for enhancing pre-reading/writing skills.  Music Therapy Perspectives, 15, 79-86.

Wallace, W. (1994).  Memory for music: effect of melody on recall of text.  Learning, Memory,

and Cognition, 20(6), 1471-1485.

Wolfe, D., & Hom, C. (1993).  Use of melodies as structural prompts for learning and retention

of sequential verbal information by preschool students.  Journal of Music Therapy, 30(2), 100-118.

About Michelle Lazar, MT-BC

Michelle Lazar, MT-BC, directs Coast Music Therapy, a San Diego-based agency focused

on providing a creative approach to learning through music.  She specializes in meeting the

learning needs of children with autism and developmental disabilities.  She also provides

consultation, workshops and training seminars nationally for educators in both special and regular education classrooms.

Michelle holds a baccalaureate degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University,

with additional training in Neurologic Music Therapy from the Center for Biomedical Research in

Music at Colorado State University.  Her publications include a chapter in Models of Music Therapy Interventions in School Settings, 2002 edition by Brian L. Wilson.

CANDO! Character Education Program

Have you heard about the  CANDO! Character Education Program?  for K-12:public, private and home school

Music is the stimulus to introduce students to an educationally sound Curriculum Connection that reaches EVERY student in your classroom with songs that address “choice” issues!

CANDO! Character Education Program


  • SELF-WORTH                                     
  • and encourages CONFLICT RESOLUTION


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